Saturday, February 7, 2009

In order

Lucy loves to have a "family night".  To her, however, it means watching a movie and staying up past her bedtime - a particular perk to homeschooling.   Well, a couple of nights ago I agreed, but not to a movie.  I decided we should play cards.  We played Old Maid (I won all three times!) and Crazy 8's (Lucy won those rounds). Booboo had such a good time playing with us.  She teamed up with me and Mike every other game.  She got the biggest kick out of picking the Old Maid cards from Lucy.  Then when it was time for bed, we had to put the cards away, and here the story begins.

Since Little Miss Independent was big enough to play, she thought she was big enough to put all the cards back in the box as well.  She tried and tried.  She definitely gets an A for effort. She got about 12 cards in the box and was desperately trying to shove the rest in.  She had a death grip on those things like I've never seen! She did not understand that the cards had to be in order before they would go in the box. She was very insistent and did not want my help AT ALL!  So I let her try a bit longer until she started bending the cards. I, lovingly yet firmly, began pulling them from her clutched little fingers with great strength.  As you might imagine when two people are playing tug of war with a stack of cards, we both lost our grip and cards went flying!  She was so upset and frustrated; and the other two people in the house were thoroughly entertained and amused.  

She was not at all interested in cleaning up the mess, and can't exactly say I blame her. It was a good one. She wanted so badly to put them in the box 'all her byself' like a big girl.  After all, she was big enough to play... So I consoled her and convinced her to help clean up and this time, to let me put them back in the box.  

While we were cleaning up the cards I felt the Lord speak to my heart.  This was yet again a picture of what I do in my life.  (I must admit how many similarities my life has to a 2 year old is scary!) 

How many times do I insist on doing something that I think I can handle. Something that wasn't even asked of me to do and yet I have somehow made it my life's mission just because I think I am able.  Not willing to give up or even allow someone else to help me! Insistent that I can do it 'all my byself' and inevitably making a mess of the whole deal.  Mind you, not because God lost His grip on the power struggle, but because He relented and I was still pulling.  Then when He invites me to help in the task, I have a fit cause that's now how I wanted to do it! 

Boy does this speak to my finances! Too many times I have insisted that I could afford something and tried to find my own way to pay for it, completely convinced I could handle that responsibility only to realize later, that I could not and now the mess has scattered all around. And sadly, to complete the metaphor, I have thrown a fit and said 'I don't want to clean this up' with arms crossed and feeling completely self righteous. 

How thankful I am that Jesus stops me and consoles me.  Boy do I need it! And he loves me enough not only to help me clean up my mess but also to learn some lessons.  A most important lesson of NOT entering a power struggle with Him, and the lesson of not trying to take on the responsibilities that I think I can handle. A lesson that teaches me to find my joy in His fellowship and to let Him put things in order as He sees fit.

Psalm 37:23 in the New King James Version says this:  

           The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, 
           And He delights in his way.

But I really like the way the New Living Translation says it (but it doesn't use the word 'order' like my post title!)

   The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
           He delights in every detail of their lives.

Jesus, how gracious and patient you are with Little Miss Independents like me.  Sometimes I want so badly to be a big girl! Please help me to find my joy in You and not my abilities or ambitions.  How amazing that You delight in me!

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